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Incomparable : An Experiment With Light

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  • Incomparable : An Experiment With Light

    I have this bee in my bonnet which has been buzzing into my ear that in a high lighted planted aquarium, when all the colour bands are present in high intensity, each of the plant specie will be satiated with energy by absorbing their favourite colour band, by producing the pigments to do so and thus being compelled to show their most colourful self.

    So after more than a month of neglect while I corrected the lights and renewed all the wiring and CO2 supply; I have severely pruned away the rank growth, and done a water change.

    The size of the tank is – 72” – 36” – 24” high
    The lights are 3 X 150W 10000K MH, + 2 X 150W 3000K MH, + 3 X 40W 6500K T8, + 2 X 40W “Azoo Tripower” (magenta coloured) T8

    I am a bad photographer the attachment has been resized but I have not played with the colours.

  • #2
    How do you know it has anything to do with plant preference(eg, how might you measure this?) vs what your own eyes see as reflectance?

    A red color light will highlight red colors, likewise, a blue light will do the same with blue coloration.

    Most bulbs already have a mixture. CRI is often used:
    http://www.sizes.com/units/CRI.htm

    As far as plants, they will and do adapt to a wide range of light colors, temps etc.
    This has been demonstrated many times in horticulture using a wide range of lighting types and natural sunlight. So starting with a mix is not really any advantage.

    Rather, choosing a color that you personally prefer, has the aesthetics you like(1), and then go to things like PAR intensity (2) (not color temps or watts) and evenness of the spread of light over the area(3).

    1 is measured by you, 2 and 3 by a PAR light meter.

    If you cannot use a light meter/have one etc, then like nutrients and using test kits, you lack the test kits so you "guess" what the ppm's are and why they are that way.

    You really cannot say that much really.

    You might like it and it might look nice, etc, but why that is might not have much to do with using a range of different light types. Most bulbs have a wide range as it is and plants can adapt.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
    www.BarrReport.com

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    • #3
      Nice aquarium. What are those narrow tall plants in the middle-right background? Is it balansae?
      Anyway I agree with Tom in that you should just pick the lights that look nice to you. I think it's pretty impossible to have a full, uniform emission of every wavelength in the visible spectrum using artifical lights anyway since bulbs have a limited number of elements in them.

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      • #4
        Favored color bands for growth rate exists, but so does adaptation. We already know that algae, a relatively more simple organism, will shift its pigment production based on spectrum. Perhaps plants do the same, which may also account in part for their color. So while we may or may not be hitting perfect growth rates for the wattage, more pleasant colors would be ideal IMO.

        I'm going to be doing a little informal experiment playing with spectrum in the following months; GE9325K, 6700/10000K and pure 6700K over the same tank and I'll watch what happens, maybe take some pictures of clippings taken from the tank under various light. I think the results paired along side yours, essabee, may help to give us a bit better of a look at the subject.

        -Philosophos
        - Dan

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        • #5
          Without meters I know I am guessing. Then I have been trying (without success) to get the manufacturer's spectrum graph so that my guess work would be a studied guess.

          The experiment is on and I am waiting for the answer from the plants, they would not lie.

          PS - I do like the light effect (and my eyes say that the camera does not reproduce the tint I see)

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          • #6
            What I'm really curious about how you are going to measure the results. Normally this is done by comparing dry weight of plants.
            But how are you going to measure the results of growth inside an aquarium? I think it would not be more than an educated guess. There are other variables that influence the result. Changing spectrums on live plants will require new adaptation to this new spectrum. Consequence is less growth for some time.
            Plants grow faster when getting nearer to the light source. How are you going to compensate for that?
            I think it's impossible to judge if the plants have grown 1/4 inch more like say in one month due to change of spectrum only.

            The concept is interesting though.

            Regards,
            Dutchy.
            regards,
            dutchy.

            My 2011, 2012 and 2013 AGA aquascaping contest entries:
            http://www.barrreport.com/album.php?u=21013

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            • #7
              I am just not interested in growth of the plants, they simply explode in all my tanks, and I have to trimm every day of the week.

              What I am interested in is the colouration of the plants, and I will share weekly observations/photographs with you all for your judgement.

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              • #8
                Overall, the test is really about what you like and enjoy.
                What aesthetics you prefer.

                You should try various combos to see what you really like after some time has past.
                I like the Giesemann T5 lights over the HQI's and PC bulbs I've tried. The GE 9325 PC lights give nice reds.

                Regards,
                Tom Barr
                www.BarrReport.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm running the Geissman T5HO 6700K's on a tank right now. Very clean looking; nice crisp lines. Definitely no using spectrum to hide imperfections with these things as with the green ADA bulbs.

                  -Philosophos
                  - Dan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tom Barr View Post
                    Overall, the test is really about what you like and enjoy.
                    What aesthetics you prefer.

                    You should try various combos to see what you really like after some time has past.
                    I like the Giesemann T5 lights over the HQI's and PC bulbs I've tried. The GE 9325 PC lights give nice reds.

                    Regards,
                    Tom Barr
                    Very little options for experimenting with combos here in India. I tried a number of them over time, this combo I like because the pink granite walls of the aquarium - looks pink to my eye but the camera pictures don't justify its colour.

                    Cameras are new to me, never had need to take pictures and could not carry a camera the way I lived during my active life.

                    "Prolific Poster" 30 posts over 3 years ?????????????????????????????
                    Last edited by essabee; 11-26-2009, 12:54 AM.

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                    • #11
                      You might play around with the hue setting on the post production camera software.

                      I think the eyes are the only true judge.


                      Regards,
                      Tom Barr
                      www.BarrReport.com

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                      • #12
                        As the picture I posted last week did not match what actually hits the eye; this week I did some colour corrections with Irfan. I also came closer both to the visible colour and the aquarium so you have split pictures of the left and right.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by essabee View Post
                          What I am interested in is the colouration of the plants, and I will share weekly observations/photographs with you all for your judgement.
                          don't forget that the 'colouration' of the plants may not be an actual. By that I mean that if you use a 4000K pink light over a tray of HC it can look a little yellowy and not so healthy. Put the same tray in the daylight or under a whiter/greener light and suddenly it looks like the lushest ever.

                          In that case the light is making the plant appear a 'better' colouration when in fact there is no difference.

                          I don't expect there would be any difference in which spectrum you put over the tank in terms of actual colouration nor actual growth. I would expect them to turn out pretty much the same. Put twice as much CO2 as another tank I would expect both colouration (in some sp) and growth rate in virtually all to be different.

                          AC
                          www.greenneedle.co.uk

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                          • #14
                            Its about 2 weeks since the experiment started and the new growth does show more 'redish' colouration at depths I have never seen before in my long career in this hobby.

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                            • #15
                              Update 11 Dec 2009

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